Dar es Salaam — Tanzania's youth unemployment rate remains a big challenge to growth and the government must address it.
Among ways recommended include connecting them to the banking sector for them to access credit and engage in agricultural production.
The governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Prof Benno Ndulu, said this yesterday at the launch of the World Bank's 9th Tanzania Economic Update.
He said the country had abundant resources, which created a lot of opportunities for skilled youth possessing the right digital technology.
"To address the unemployment crisis, the government needs to provide a better environment for the youth to engage in sectors that support its industrialisation drive, including agriculture. The on-going rural electrification process would open opportunities to them," he said.
He stressed that the youth, who form a large part of the population, could be a challenge if they were left without engagement.
Prof Ndulu further argued that the government's industrialisation drive required clarity and predictability of policies in order to really support the private sector.
He also said that Tanzania's economic growth remained stable unlike most other African countries because, among other things, it had made huge strides in infrastructure development.
For her part, the managing partner of Rex Consulting, Dr Hawa Sinare, argued that the country's economy has the potential of growing at the 11 per cent rate from the current 6.6 per cent provided the private sector potential is unlocked.
She noted that in 1996 the economy was growing at 4 per cent rate, but the then administration worked closely with the private sector and took macro aspects seriously to enable the economy to grow at 6 per cent rate.
"The country's labour market receives thousands of skilled youth annually, but there are no jobs for them, so intervention measures are needed to address their predicament," she argued.
She explained that the country had numerous tourist attractions, but only one million tourists currently visit the country annually.
This means there is a growth potential in the sector for job creation. She noted that agriculture was another sector that can create jobs if the government addressed constraints such as the numerous levies, land disputes and even costly credit facilities.
For his part, an economics don with Mzumbe University, Prof Honest Ngowi, said despite the country having some 50 banks, these need to provide their customers with good deals. "The banking sector is growing, but it does not reach out to the rural dwellers," he observed.
For her part, the deputy minister for Finance and Planning Meanwhile, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, said the launch of the report highlighted the importance of financial inclusion for poverty reduction and mobilising savings towards productive purposes.